'Hopefully this is the end of the tunnel' - Bognor Regis businesses encouraged by 'roadmap' out of lockdown

Two Bognor Regis business owners have welcomed the news that he could be able to open to customers again in April.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Boris Johnson outlined a 'roadmap' for exiting lockdown today (Monday, February 22) which consisted of four stages with five key dates of when measures can be lifted at the earliest.

Retailers will be able to reopen from April 12 at the earliest.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bognor Regis Business Improvement District (BID) chairman Jason Passingham said it was a 'very positive statement', adding: "We are heading back to a form of normality but people need to appreciate that this is going to be a slow journey.

Bognor Regis during the first lockdown. Photo: Steve RobardsBognor Regis during the first lockdown. Photo: Steve Robards
Bognor Regis during the first lockdown. Photo: Steve Robards

"We are going to work towards a date of April 12, whilst remembering that things may come out the woodwork that delays that. It is only a proposed date.

"We need to ensure that we open safely and people's heath is put first. That's the priority. There's no point rushing into this and opening too quickly.

"If we do it right and reopen to a safe environment and safe high street, we can hopefully get some sort of normality by June 21 [as proposed by Boris Johnson]."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Paul Wells, who owns Unique Workwear in London Road, said this announcement 'gives retail something to work towards' after a 'rollercoaster' year.

He added: "It's not ideal being shut but we've now got a date that we can work towards and fingers crossed we can reopen on that day.

"Hopefully we're over the worst of it now and we can see light at the end of the tunnel. A bit of optimism on the cards.

"We are pleased we've got that announcement this afternoon. Hopefully this is the end of the tunnel."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Heather Allen, Bognor BID co-ordinator, said the news that some of the businesses currently closed could reopen as early as April 12 is, 'of course, welcome'.

She added: "We all want to get back to a sense of normal – to reopen our business premises to customers, to see our families, to meet up with our friends.

"But, without wanting to sound negative, it is really important that we all play our part in making that happen by continuing to follow the guidance currently in place so that ALL businesses can reopen as quickly as the 'if all goes to plan' roadmap allows.”

You can let us know your thoughts about the government's roadmap out of lockdown, by sending an email to [email protected].